by Diana Kjerstad
My first year of being the Girls Ministries Director for South Dakota has been a fun and exciting time! I took this position in April 2011 and had about 5 or 6 churches communicating with me at that time. My first GM district directors conference was in August of 2011 and it was great! The training I got there as a new director was so practical and encouraging to me. I came home with a plan and a vision from God and immediately shared it with my DYD/CE director and got to work! After about a month or so I was in contact with about 8 or 9 clubs and was starting to work with 2 churches that were going to start GM for the first time! I held my first Leadership Training event in the fall. This had not been done, to my knowledge, in about 6 years. I had 22 women attend and they were very excited about GM and what they were doing in their churches when they left! I also set up a Teen Girls Ministries booth at Youth Convention and was able to talk about TGM to all the girls there. Most of them had never heard about it before. I am now actively working with 13 GM clubs across South Dakota and they are all thriving and doing great.
In March 2012 our Royal Rangers Commander and I put together a combined RR and GM training. We were very pleased to have about 40 in attendance. It was a two-day event with the GM and RR leaders, teachers, sponsors, and commanders. We were together the first night doing a Royal Ranger church safety course which was amazing!! The second day we were separated and had our trainings with our own leaders.
I had 24 women in attendance for that training and got some great feedback from them on how informative and practical it was. My goal for this first year as the director for SD was to make sure that all the churches with clubs had their leaders trained. That is something that has been lacking in our district over quite a few years. It's important to make sure our leaders and teachers know what GM is about and how to use the materials and to be given help in different areas of how to disciple girls. I feel that has brought our district churches together in a big way and we are planning to have district events such as camps and sleepovers in the near future. I am so thrilled to be a part of Girls Ministries and so excited to see what God has done over this last year in our district. I know God has some big things in store for us and I am ready to see it happen! I want to thank our National Director Candy Tolbert for her leadership and guidance with Girls Ministries, she has been a great encouragement to me. I also want to thank Olga Vigil for her support in leadership development and for giving me her cell phone number for my first training event and told me to call her right in the middle of it if I had questions!! That is support for sure! The whole national team is amazing and I am so thankful and blessed to be under their care.
Diana is the South Dakota Girls Ministries Director. She has two girls named are Jessica (10) and Rebecca (7). She and her husband, Adam, have been senior pastors in Mitchell, SD, for almost 7 years this summer.